Being new to all this overclocking mallarky, I have a question for anyone in the know....
After a bit of Googling, I have taken the plunge and overclocked my year old AMD Phenom II Quad Core 965 Black Edition processor which I have mounted in my Asus M4A785TD-M EVO motherboard. The CPU is cooled with the excellent Zalman CNPS9900-LED Dual Flower cooler which is installed with thermal paste.
After a year of use, I have found my PC no longer acts as required with all the latest games and I want it to be ready for the upcoming Skyrim which is basically going to take over my entire life
I have followed instructions and am currently running my CPU at 3.9GHz at 1.5v exactly and according to AMD Overdrive, the core temps are 53.38 degrees max when stressing the PC out using Prime95.
What I'm wondering is, should I go for the golden 4GHz and if this crashes my PC when on full load (which it will do if the CPU is not getting enough voltage, yes?), up the voltage a tad more? Is that how it works?
That cleaning is advice worth listening too. If you want to improve gaming performance then you will need a new video card because that processor is already going faster than it needs to. I suggest the SAPPHIRE TOXIC HD6950. Last I checked (last week) it was going for about $280 which is much cheaper than the GTX 570 and 6970 while being faster than both.
You could have a look at it in action and how to overclock it well on Hardocp:
The link below gives you step-by-step istructions for OC'ing the Phenom II CPUs. More CPU voltage is not always the solution to higher frequencies. 55C is considered by many as the max stable temp for most Phenom II CPUs under Prime 95, OCCT or Linpack. Always keep your PC clean as dust lowers the cooling considerably.
Thank you all for your help, especially blazorthorn.....
I am getting a new graphics card at the end of the week and was sold on getting either the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 570 SOC WINDFORCE 3X 1280MB or the Gainward Geforce GTX 570 1280Mb "Goes-Like-Hell" Edition which were going to set me back up to £300.
I can get the Sapphire HD6950 Toxic for the bargain price of £233 (or £185.99, if the re-seller on Amazon is to be believed....and this is NEW!!!!) which saves me enough money to put towards a 128GB SSD drive, all of which should speed up my system quite nicely, as I will be performing a clean Windows install as well.
Thanks again, everyone, and if anyone else has any good advice, please continue to throw it over!!!